Sunday, 7 August 2011

Day Three: If a man is being a prick and no one's around, does he make a sound?

Following my first two posts which Jon advised me were a little on the low side, I decided that I should probably stop sitting in the flat waiting for something wonderful to happen. So this morning, after only a few hours sleep (there was some kind of sing-a-long happening across the road which the Carpenters on my ipod couldn't block out) I decided to get up, get showered and leave the house.

I went to see a lady who has been down to my gig in Stockwell a lot. It's more of a spoken word thing than stand-up but was enjoyable. She was pleased to see me which made me feel good. She invited me to her flat to hang out and smoke pot. I haven't been invited to smoke pot for a long time and so I just nodded and said thank you.

It was soon time to start flyering for Comedy Slappers. It started raining this morning and it's not due to stop until Monday. The rain here is relentless and makes moving around quite difficult. It's also difficult to speak coherently through a hood and an umbrella. As I started flyering, I instantly wanted to go back to London and pretend that I'd forgotten that I was supposed to be "doing" Edinburgh this year. It was half an hour of shouting the following phrases in various combinations whilst trying to hand wet flyers into the hands of people coming out of John Lewis:

"Free Stand-Up at 5pm."
"Come on in out of the rain."
"It's dry in there."
"Comedy Slappers."
"Come in for a good time."

I resorted to saying, "Free blow jobs!" just to make Josephine laugh. Only one punter reacted to it. He didn't have many teeth and I thought that he would be way better at them than me.

Tagline: A solitary Comedy Slappers flyer thrown onto the wet pavement shortly about to be trampled on by someone with bad shoes. Par-for-the-course.

We got seven people into Slappers. I opened. I got some titters. I wasn't overly fussed. The room has a glass front that looks on to the shopping centre walkway. Some passers-by were stopping to look and then carry on walking. It really was like Barrymore. If it had been Barrymore, we would have filmed old ladies looking on in wonder and Barrymore would have jumped out from a plant and hilariously used it as a microphone to mime along to whatever the little girl or old man was singing.

I'm concerned for Slappers, the location is shit in comparison to everything else and there only seems to be shoppers passing by - when was the last time you wanted to watch stand-up when you were out at Southside, Wandsworth. Anwer: never.

The rain continued as I went to see my flat mate, Tania's, show at the Caves. She only had a small audience but handled it really well. She has some really good stuff in there including a great line about playing chess to spend more time with her boyfriend (I wouldn't be able to do it justice if I tried to write it word for word).

So, did I tell you about the rain? I went to flyer for Gagstronomic! but only after I had a cup of tea with MJ at his flat where we sang Catatonia in the most ridiculously strained Welsh voice we could muster. It was funny. I was thinking of doing my set like that. Strained Welsh.

I walked to the end of the road that the gig was on and attempted to hand out flyers whilst shouting the words "free" "stand-up" and "tonight". I did it for about three minutes, didn't hand out one flyer and walked back up to the venue. MJ seemed to have same idea and we both gave the same pathetic stories of it being pointless (read that as two people that couldn't be arsed). 

In the end, we filled the room. Mostly by audience left over from the show before us but also from people who wanted to sit down in the venue. Mark went on first and seemed to start angry, I've seen him do this before and he never seems to be able to shake it. The bar was really fucking loud and by standing at the back, not much was heard. There were also guys at the back who wouldn't stop talking. I told them to fucking shut up a few times but they didn't seem to grasp it.

The whole front row were drunk dick-heads and he struggled to calm them. When dealing with hecklers you should ALWAYS repeat the heckle back so that the rest of the audience can hear, it also gives you time to think of a killer response. Luckily for me, I know this rule so was able to handle the front row a bit better. I didn't finish any routines because these dick heads were butting in with various witty heckles such as:

"You're shit."
"Not funny."
"Get off the stage."

I did quite well I think but had to get a bit aggressive. I do quite well with drunks given that I'm a drunk myself. I channel what I want to say to my drunk self to them and it got loads of laughs. Something along the lines of:

"Why don't we just give you the collection from the bucket, you can buy some more Special Brew and then maybe you'll choke in a puddle of your own vomit."

One of the guys was Northern Irish and I cheekily asked him where he was from, he said he was Irish which, of course, suggested to me that he was anti-British. I then went off on a tangent suggesting that I may get a phone call in the night saying, "Check your car you unfunny bitch. You've got five minutes to clear the area." in a Northern Irish accent.

All-in-all, I think I handled it well but I'm concerned that I won't be doing much material in that room due to the volume of the bar outside of the performance space and the type of punters we got tonight. We got £26 in the bucket.

I hung out a bit with a female comic who has taken me under her wing a bit, I really love the thoughtfulness behind her material and would love to hear what she thinks I could work on. She's invited me for dinner so that's something to look forward to.

There is some stuff I want to work on tomorrow: pub crawls and the ridiculousness of them and also the Einstein being the president of Israel phone conversation.

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